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How do I keep in touch with my loved one if they are in a care home during COVID-19?

As the shops have started opening with pubs and restaurants soon to follow we all hope that we can start returning to normal but this might not be the case if your loved one is in a Care Home.

During lockdown many Care Homes have taken the decision to reduce the risk to their residents posed by the virus by restricting visitors to the home.  For loved ones being cared for at home by carers, as other family members have had to shield or self-isolate, maintaining contact is so important.

Keeping in touch

Carers understand that supporting that relationship with your loved one is a vital aspect of supporting them and we hear of many stories where care homes have made sure contact is maintained by updating family members or arranging telephone or face to face contact via technology, using apps such as FaceTime or Zoom.

However sometimes there is not the technology in the care home or home and you have to look at what you need to do to maintain that contact.

Paying for technology

If you are an Attorney you may decide to purchase a device which would enable the person you are appointed to act for keep in contact with their loved ones.  However before you purchase equipment you will need to think about whether they will need help to use the equipment, and if they have carers helping them, will those carers be able to support your loved one with those devices.

You will need to make sure that the cost is reasonable and will meet your loved one’s needs, and consider whether you are buying the right phone call and data package to support how the device can best be used as a support tool.  Also think about whether you need to put restrictions on the device to make sure that it is only used by your loved one or for their care and they, or others, are not accidentally accessing inappropriate or costly features.

The Alzheimers society have some advice on technology that can help people with dementia.

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/staying-independent/how-technology-can-help

The Relatives and Residents Association has a number of ideas about how you can keep in touch with loved ones during lock down.

https://www.relres.org/keep-in-touch/

Staying in touch with your loved ones is such an important thing and there are many ways to do this.  You just need to think about what is the best way to maintain contact with them and what support is needed to make sure you can do this.

If you would like further advice on acting as an Attorney please contact Veronica Male, our Court of Protection specialist, on 01788 557 574 or by email on veronicamale@brethertons.co.uk.

For information about acting as an Attorney please visit our attorney pages.

https://www.brethertons.co.uk/site/individuals/wills-trust-probate-solicitors/powers-of-attorney/